unofficial abma/aba faq
Annotated :: Single Page/Plain :: Text :: Notes

1. Preface
2. Introduction
3. Newsgroups
4. Encoding
     a. uu
     b. mime
     c. yEnc
5. Archives
     a. .rar/.r##/.part##.rar
     b. RAR recovery
     c. .ace/.c##
     d. .###
     e. .zip
6. Support Files
     a. .sfv
     b. .par/.p##
     c. .rev
     d. .idx/.sub/.ifo
     e. .smi/.ssa/.srt
     f. .nfo/.txt/.md5
7. Newsreaders
8. Posting
     a. Bad Requests
9. Auto-Posters
10. Hentai
11. Formats/codecs
     a. avi/ogm
     b. mpeg4
     c. mpg
     d. rm
     e. audio
     f. linux
12. News servers
13. Software
14. Appendices
     a. About the FAQ
     b. Mirroring the FAQ

The new home of the FAQ is http://animeusenet.org/wiki/.

This site exists only for historical/archival purposes.

11f. Linux Notes

This section (and all Linux-related information) is scheduled to be updated for the next revision.

Operating Specific File Format information - LINUX/*NIX [darkwire, ed.]

MPEG4v3 and most new AVI wrapped codes won't run under Linux, and neither will ASF.


Mpeg-1/Rm will play under Linux, requires (glibc2 / libc.so.6)

For playing ASF / AVI latest / or latest crap codec from MS

  • VMware http://www.vmware.com/download/download_linux_pre.html
    Virtual Machine x86, can install windows 9x, NT, 2k, whatever =) then install the same tools as if under a real windows sessions. This requires some change in perception, between real machine and virtualized machine

AVI/ASF/WMV/DivX ;-) and Mpeg

Initial infos, getting these libraries and players up and running will pretty much play I would say abt 95% of the files out there, including AVI's with SMI files (RTFM for that), there are always a few jackass'es that screw it up the encoding so bad it only plays on windows though, albeit quite rare. DAT files are also kind of tricky, esp if they arent burnt onto a CD unfortunately.

How-to get these working:

  1. Build/Compile the following 2 libraries IN ORDER, or use a prepackaged version.
    • ** If you are somewhat good at *nix, I would suggest *COMPILING* these libs yourself, since u can pass in configuration options for optimizations, and it'll build for your cpu as well =) *IF* you go with compiling then go with compiling each package, same holds if u go with prepackaged, go with prepackaged all the way, or else stuff gets stuffed all over the place.
    • libSDL, Simple DirectMedia Layer (analogous to having DirectX installed) http://www.libsdl.org
    • AviFile, the *essential* library, they also have a zip of the win32 dlls needed at this site http://divx.euro.ru/
    • SDL Mpeg player Library http://www.lokigames.com/development/smpeg.php3
    • note about using plaympeg with VCDs, use the location, vcd://dev/cdrom:2, instead of a filename.
  2. After compiling/installing these two, you will have a program called aviplay, which can be used to play avi/asf/wmv, with pretty much the same interface as windows, with the quality/color/etc adjustments too. While plaympeg is the cheesy commandline version of the mpeg player. YOU ARE DONE! =)
  3. In case you want to be more adventurous and have a slicker interface, get these 3 additional packages.

File Conversions and manipulations

Fixing and converting MPEGS in Linux

Grab vcdgear, its just like the windows version - http://www.vcdgear.com

Typical uses, the "-fix" swith is optional, depends on situation.

  • converting pesky dats to mpgs: vcdgear -fix -dat2mpg input.dat output.mpg
  • fixing mpegs that had bad frame timings and the such: vcdgear -fix -mpg2mpg input.mpg output.mpg

Converting to Divx

Use the tools from the avifile package (avi2divx & mpeg2divx). Both are lightening fast, compared to the Windows counterparts.

Linux mini-FAQ

Note: before asking, please run the program in a TERMINAL window, so you can at least see the HELPFUL information that is being displayed, at the very least it can give a HINT to the culprit!

How come when I load an ASF it takes forever to play or just freezes?

The ASF parsing code is Microsoft IP, therefore the linux version uses the ASF parsing code reverse engineered by Avery Lee of VirtualDub for Windows fame. His code will parse the ENTIRE file once before actual playback.

I compiled avi-xmms/smpeg-xmms, but when I run xmms to playback mpg/avi files it just opens the Open File dialog box again!

It is highly probable that there was a version of xmms installed on your system before, and when you compile these plugins, by default it will install to the /usr/local subtree, instead of the /usr subtree.

To find out where your xmms is, type

whereis xmms

If it says something like /usr/bin/xmms, and by default compilation stuff is put into /usr/local, which is a different PREFIX.

Then /usr/bin is your PREFIX, see the question about compilation for further details.

How come my AVI plays REALLY REALLY slow under avi-xmms?

Keep in mind that AVIs are still played through the original win32 dlls, therefore there is a small tranlation layer involed.

Secondly, the guys who write avi-xmms, did not implement the CPU Quality slider, therefore it will default either to 1 (lowest), or whatever was last selected when you played the file with the aviplay. So to reset this, run the file with aviplay and set your preference, and then re-run it in with xmms. This is lame IMHO, complain to the plugin writers =)

How come I did everything fine, but AVIs wont play?

Most likely, the binaries.zip from avifile website where not installed in the correct directory. By *default* they need to be unzipped into a directory /usr/lib/win32, this can be change if you so desire as well.

How come everything plays except VCDs?

Either its a bad VCD, or the permissions for the cdrom device where not set correctly. Type:

ls /dev/hd*

This example is assuming your cdrom is Primary Master.

brw-r--r-- 1 root disk 3, 0 Apr 27 1995 /dev/hda

If it doesnt say this:

su root
chmod o+r /dev/hda

Also if /dev/cdrom does not work, either link the /dev/hd? to /dev/cdrom, or if you are lazy just say /dev/hd? instead of /dev/cdrom, substituting the ? for the correct device letter, typically (a-d).

I dont know a thing about compiling, but I dont want to use rpms etc!

First, use the rpms =), it makes your life easier. If you are really insistant, here are the basic tips, please READ the INSTALL and README files for each package.

Basic Compilation Instructions assuming you made it in the subdirectory the package untar-zipped to.

./configure --prefix=/some/starting/directory
su root
make install
ldconfig -v

You can leave out the entire --prefix line if you want everything to get dumped into /usr/local, and this is where you can change it to --prefix=/usr if you want to install into /usr subdir

How come you just talk about stuff from a Linux point of view, when there are many other *nixes?

A majority if not all these packages, are capable of being cross-compiled over most popular unices, and they are even capable of being compiled under Windows.

User Contributed Notes

2002-02-27 12:25pm
IMHO, this section starts out a bit too bleak (and the playing-on-Linux refs eleswhere in the FAQ are definitely behind the times). Nowadays I can play every format I come across in the anime groups on Usenet... including those that stump WMP on my Windows box (which is kind of annoying since that's the box that has the TV out so I can watch them on my TV :-P ). That <i>may</i> be because the folks that are collecting the codecs don't have MS's desire to guide who uses what as far as codecs go, so they collect more and more of them together. Now you can easily download just about everything in one shot.

You may want to add the link to the avifile player site: http://avifile.sourceforge.net/

In case it matters, I've been running the avifile player on the Debian Linux (http://www.debian.org/)

2002-03-01 08:22pm
Another very cool player for Linux/Unix is xine, which can be found at http://xine.sourceforge.net/. It plays pretty much everything I've run across (outside of proprietry formats like rm, afaik) - mpg1/2, avi, divx, VCD and SVCDs directly. Nice keyboard controls, skinnable control display, and it's far easier on the CPU than other players I've tried.
2002-03-05 11:38pm
One the best players for Linux has got to me Mplayer. Eventhough most of the functionality it has is in the command line mode, there is a decent GUI as well. I cannot reccomend this software more highly. It will play almost anything you throw at it (Mpeg 1/2, AVI,DIVX,WMA 7/8, Vivo, DVD's, early MOV's, and early RM's). To top it off it is highly optimized. On my P3 playing a big divx takes up 5% cpu! http://www.mplayerhq.hu
2003-06-03 05:54pm
Mplayer has been updated even more, and now you can play tha latest WMV and Quicktime (and RMs too, I think), so I think this section is a bit outdated.
2003-06-03 05:55pm
Mplayer (www.mplayerhq.hu) has been updated even more, and now you can play tha latest WMV and Quicktime (and RMs too, I think), so I think this section is a bit outdated.
2003-10-20 06:29pm
With mplayer's current release, just so long as you read the documentation and ask for help on their mailing list if need be, there isn't a single media type (RM, AVI, ASF, Quicktime, WMV, OGM, etc) that cannot be played. On the mplayer website, there are links to dozens of codec packages, which you extract to <b>the directory specified in the documentation</b>.

Also, those who wish to post, but can't find decent linux programs to do so with, I'd like to suggest newspost. <b>http://newspost.unixcab.org/</b>
2004-01-22 05:36am

Just have to reiterate that MPlayer is the absolute first and last program anyone could possibly need for watching video under linux. It renders RM files better than the RealPlayer port, is faster than Xine or any of the competition, handles DVD's and VCD's, and can even be used to re-encode or apply filters to videos.

If you use linux, you owe it to yourself to watch your anime with mplayer. We use it to play to our television all the time. Oh, and it can play divx (while rescaling the image) on machines as slow as 400mhz without any problem.

I honestly can't brag it up enough...

The Wizard of Oz
2004-07-03 06:45pm
Here is something I posted to ABMA with a couple of corrections... --- I was an earlier contributor to the FAQ especially the Linux stuff. After a year or so I'm able to add a bit more to the current FAQ. 1) Newsreaders BNR2 - http://www.bnr2.org - Optionally add /bnr2.html This program is able to access multiple servers simultaneously. This means if there is a fast server with an 80% completion rate and a slow server with a 100% completion rate 80% can be retrieved from the fast server and the remaining 20% can be from the slow server. This is transparent to the user. The only problem so far is it doesn't post. NOTE: There is an M$ version of this as well. 2) UNRAR programs Winrar has a text command for Linux. My version says it's up to 3.30. There is a bonus with this program. It handles wildcard characters. This means if the user gets some rar files with high-bit ascii (eg the one half character or something with accents) they can be processed. 3) PAR2 programs The "parcmdline" project on http://freshmeat.net works. The version I have is 0.2. The only problem I have found is with the use of high-bit (eg the one half character or something with accents). This program does not like them at all. 4) Video players mplayer - http://mplayerhq.hu - This is the BEST video player! This program is one the user has to compile themselves. Fortunately the authors provide instructions. Installing the program is very easy. A three step process actually. Most of the work is in the preparations. It will play almost any video or audio file. There is so much good documentation even the hardiest computer geeks will be happy. It can be run either from the command line or GUI. Compared with what is available under M$, this program is so good as to make converts to Linux just to use it. There are plugins for Netscape and Mozilla. This program can handle streaming video from the net. Whenever there is an exploit the program is patched within hours. geexbox - http://www.geexbox.org - For M$ users who won't convert. This is really just mplayer with a few addons. It has a front end which makes it easier to use. It also comes on a 2MB self-booting ISO file. It does not install anything to the computer. Since it is Linux it will read ALL file systems (including NTFS, Mac, Fat, OS/2, BSD, Solaris, etc.). A RAM drive is created for the program. Once the CD is ejected, the user can select from and play a video or audio file on any harddrive or CD. Just make sure the monitor can handle the resolution this program puts out. RealPlayer - http://www.real.com - Available for M$ too. Recently the "community" has released a free version of the RealPlayer 10. I haven't downloaded it myself. There were versions of 8 and 9 as well. If 8 and 9 were installed, mplayer could make use of some of their code (or was it CODECs). 5) CODECs OGM - Just make sure the Ogg and Vorbis libraries are installed. MKV - I haven't tried this yet but it looks as the process is the same. All others - If the user is running mplayer the instructions on the mplayer page should cover it. 6) Dealing with spaces and some special characters Put "Quotation marks" around the file names. Also consider using wildcard characters. 7) Dealing with the "!" character in file names It needs to be escaped in a particular way. Here is an example. "First part of the filename"\!"second part of the filename" If the "!" character does not need to be preserved, use a wildcard character. 8) Dealing with high-bit ASCII Some M$ users think they are clever by using an extended ASCII character in a file name. We can mostly deal with this. They may or may not display properly. Quoting filenames doesn't always work (see above). Wildcards will bypass them. Sometimes (as when using the PAR/PAR2 program) there is nothing which can be done. Just keep asking for reposts (stating your reasons) until the poster gets it right. If there is no need to use a PAR program then it doesn't matter. Viewing, unraring, copying, or deleting the files is easy. --- Newer versions of mplayer, par2, and winrar are available.
2005-12-28 12:10pm
Check out this linux tutorial http://linux-is-sexy.blogspot.com/2005/12/usenet-binaries-with-linux-tutorial.html